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Dell E2010H monitor on a Dimension 5000

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 20, 2010 5:19:12 PM

I've bought the screen but I'm not being offered the 1600X900 resolution the documentation says is the right one.
I've tried to install various drivers, all I've really got out of Dell "support" is that my graphics card is installed ok but it probably needs configuring... since then radio silence. I'm not sure this is the solution to the issue.... any ides? thanks in advance
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 7:10:50 PM

What graphics card or IGP is installed on that machine? If it's an older one, like a GeForce 6100 or 6150, it's simply not capable of that resolution.
April 20, 2010 7:58:56 PM

many thanks for the interest Mr Razberybandit ... let's see ... 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family is what I've got in the workstation management window...

I did actually take the precaution of checking that it was ok to buy this monitor for this computer.... and I was told yes, but I shouldn't try anything bigger...

I'm kind of hoping I can just tweak something and that Dell are just being cussed... I can't understand why with such a basic scenario they can't establish go / no-go... they want me to pay for technical support, they don't regard it as after-sales....

thanks again, hoping you can shed some light on this.... Ian (sorry about the pseudo !!)
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 9:03:32 PM

Intel IGP custom resolution support is determined within the VBIOS of the IGP itself, which Dell either programmed themselves or left with the initial VBIOS installed by Intel. So, without a VBIOS update from Dell or Intel, you're pretty much screwed...

If this is a Plug-and-Play monitor with EDID support, the IGP should be able to display any of it's supported resolutions. However, the VBIOS of the IGP chip may again be limited to specific resolution support, despite the IGP itself being capable of 1920x1080 display. Considering the age of the IGP, it's not likely it will support such a relatively new resolution. 1600x900 has only been in use for a relatively short time, but your IGP's VBIOS was programmed, oh... You tell me! :) 

You may find that it will support 1366x768, though, which is a 720p resolution with an identical 16:9 ratio.

My advice: tell Dell they're fulla "brown stinky stuff" and they really need to learn more about their products before they EVER recommend something so blindly again!

Sources:
http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-022544.htm
http://download.intel.com/design/chipsets/datashts/3014... (page 30 - search "resolution")
April 21, 2010 4:54:25 AM

wow, I see..... amongst all that I understand the bit about what Dell are full of !
thanks
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2010 3:35:30 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to use too much tech-talk. I'll try to simplify it.

While the 915G IGP (Integrated Graphics Port a.k.a. on-board video) is technically capable of display resolutions up to 1920x1080 (according to Intel's tech pages) supported resolutions are determined within it's BIOS, or the VBIOS (video BIOS). The BIOS is the basic instruction set pre-programmed into it, much like when you first start your PC and press Delete to go into the BIOS of the PC to change parameters, the basics are hard-coded. The difference is you can't just go into the VBIOS and change things around like you can the PC's BIOS.

There might be an option within the Intel display management program that might enable the IGP to display at that resolution, but I haven't used a system with a built-in Intel IGP for roughly 5 years, so I'm uncertain if it's even possible. But, according to Intel's tech pages, it's the VBIOS itself that contains the resolutions the IGP will support, so what you should seek is a VBIOS update. That might be incredibly hard to find...

Who made the motherboard? You'll likely want to seek them out to see if such an update even exists. But, I can tell by the IGP alone this isn't a new PC, so support for such an old motherboard has probably been discontinued. Even the last Intel one I worked with almost 5 years ago had a 945G in it. The 915 preceded the 945, so things don't look good in regards to finding support.

If all else fails, installing a more modern and discrete graphics card would allow you to use the full display resolution of the monitor. Something inexpensive, like this Gigabyte HD 4350 for $33 (has $10 MiR too) would do just that. Of course, you might opt for something a little more powerful as well if you seek something with greater 3-D rendering capabilities. But if this is primarily a workstation, the 4350 should suffice nicely.
April 23, 2010 7:43:38 AM

Sorry, I wandered off, I didn't expect to get another reply.... I greatly appreciate your advice... many thanks.... I feel a lot better now... I've even got an option to shouting at Dell :)  :) 
!